Words Have Power
For more than a decade, I’ve had a wooden sign displaying the words, “Letting the Cat Out of the Bag is a lot Easier than Putting it Back In.” I discovered this quirky plaque at the precise moment in time when I needed to be reminded that some things are better left unspoken. I’m not suggesting that we should habitually bury our concerns or neglect to share those things that really need to be said. But oftentimes, we needlessly lash out at others for small things that really don’t matter. It truly is hard to put that cat back in the bag.
Words have immense power. Language and communication change lives. Words can kindle the flames of hatred and violence, or they can spread love and compassion. They can drive us to cower fearfully in a dark place or provide light to illuminate our path in a darkening world. Words inspire, uplift, and motivate, reminding us of the strength within. But just as effectively, when speech is laced with anger and criticism, it can degrade and wound our spirits. A sage pronouncement in Proverbs 18:21 declares, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
As a young person, I remember being profoundly affected by the lyrics of a song called, The Wall, by the rock band, Kansas (Leftoverture, 1976). Years later, the words never fail to remind me of the barriers I’ve managed to tear down in my life.
“I’m woven in a fantasy, I can’t believe the things I see
The path that I have chosen now has led me to a wall
And with each passing day I feel a little more like something dear was lost
It rises now before me, a dark and silent barrier between
All I am and all that I would ever want to be.”
I encourage you to seek out the voices that uplift and motivate and ignore the voices that are trying to weaken and discourage. Even better, use your own voice to strengthen those around you and make the world a better place. As another wise gem in Proverbs 25:11 proclaims, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” A beautiful image!